The Elephant man and dignity

No movie has ever given a better definition of “dignity” than the Elephant man. And “dignity” is the highest value of humanism. The movie remains one of my favorites.

The Elephant man is based on the life of Joseph Merrik. Merrik was terribly deformed man who was labeled unemployable in Victorian England. He was barely able talk, illiterate and his physical problems made it difficult to walk. He would take a job as a carnival sideshow freak. The job gave him shelter, often that shelter was a cage. He was emotionally and physically abused by his employers.

The life Real Elephant man, Merrik was said to be a charming man. With the aid and the friendship of Doctor F Treves and staff of London Hospital, John eventually wrote poetry and painted. He became known as a great conversationalist and touched the hearts of people he meet in all Victorian social classes… Including the Queen herself.

From the movie the “Elephant Man”

(The Elephant Man was directed by David Lynch and Merrik was played by John Hurt. )

As each man and woman moves through existence he finds freedom from what he or she no longer is. It is our dignity that frees us.
It is our dignity that keeps us human.